2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power interiors and design
It may wear a mainstream badge, but the latest X-Trail has an upmarket cabin, especially in Ti and Ti-L guise. There’s some convincing faux wood spread across the dash and a two-tone dash with stitching that adds flair. Quality plastics and silver highlights top it all off.
There’s also loads of tech, including a customisable digital instrument cluster and broad 12.3-inch central infotainment screen. That instrument cluster can display a funky energy flow meter that shows you where energy is flowing in real time.
The central infotainment screen user-friendly and the regular volume dial is a plus in an era of buttons and slider dials and the traditional ventilation control equally welcome. There are four USB ports throughout the cabin to keep gadgets topped up.
As an e-Power it’s strictly a five-seater (some X-Trails are available with a third row of seats), but there’s a generous boot with some underfloor storage and clever dividers that can stand upright to separate luggage. The 40/20/40 split-folding back seat also maximises loading options.
2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power engine and specs
This is where things get interesting for the e-Power. It’s a hybrid, but not as we know it.
Under the bonnet is a three-cylinder turbocharged engine, but it never drives the wheels. Instead, it’s used purely as a generator to create electricity, either to charge the small battery pack under the front seats or to power the motors directly.
That power is sent to two electric motors – one for the front wheels and one for the rear – and delivers a driving experience more akin to an EV than a hybrid.
Press the throttle and there’s a nice surge of energy as the motors start spinning. Most of the time, the petrol engine will also be running to keep the electrons flowing, but it’s usually very quiet courtesy of some tricky noise cancelling technology in the cabin.
When decelerating, you can either press the brake pedal or choose one of the two regenerative braking modes – B mode (for braking) or more aggressive e-Pedal - that provide the feeling of gentle braking.
Despite the EV similarities, the e-Power can never be externally recharged. So you’re off to the petrol station every time you need to top up.
For many, that familiarity will be welcome. To others, they may rue the opportunity to use solar or renewables to power those electric motors.
2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power fuel efficiency
The X-Trail e-Power is not the fuel miser some may be expecting from a hybrid drivetrain that drives more like an EV. Claimed average fuel use is 6.1 litres per 100km - 22 per cent better than the non-hybrid X-Trail with all-wheel drive. But it’s nowhere near as impressive as the 4.8L/100km for Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid AWD.
At today’s fuel prices, then, you’d be looking at many years to pay off the $4,200 premium for the e-Power setup – assuming you’re content opting for the more expensive Ti/Ti-L model pairing.
Still, what you lose in efficiency you partially make up in easy and effortless driving experience. By hybrid standards, the e-Power makes around town running easy while adding zest to a country cruise.